Live the good life in Christchurch

Christchurch is a stunner in every season.

Hagley Park is magical when painted with autumn colours, then crisp, clear winter days give way to the magnificent blossom of spring. When summer breezes in, the trademark nor'wester announces the beginning of the hot, dry season. In other words, it's always a good time to visit Christchurch.

A day at the Botanic Gardens

Whether you're into gardening or not, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens deserve an hour or two. Pocketed with a delightful selection of established gardens and trees, the meandering pathways take you on a journey through the best bits and along the Avon River.

The TranzAlpine Rail Journey is one of the world's best train journeys. It transports you through the heart of the Southern Alps to the West Coast.

Punting on the Avon River, Christchurch, New Zealand.

To see the garden's gorgeousness from the water, you can take a punt ride - an authentically Edwardian way to take it easy. The punters know their stuff and are able to share insights into the intricacies and history of the area.

Spring is probably the most spectacular time to visit the Botanic Garden and neighbouring Hagley Park, with blossom trees abundant and daffodils filling the meadows beside the river.

 

Life's luxuries at The George

Staying at, or even just visiting, The George provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Contemporary and luxurious, The George looks out over the Avon River and Hagley Park, and is only a couple of blocks from the central city.

You don't have to stay at The George to dine at Pescatore, and there's no other restaurant quite like it in Christchurch. The wine list is second to none - it's actually been listed as one of the best in the world - and the service and food are outstanding. Most of the produce is local and seasonal, so the menu changes often to accommodate what's available.

Arthur's Pass, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Ticket to the mountains

The TranzAlpine Rail Journey is one of the world's best train journeys. It transports you through the heart of the Southern Alps and over to the remote West Coast. The scenery is incredible by any standards, particularly if your journey's happening in the winter. The huge windows allow you to take in the braided rivers, deep gorges, towering peaks and impressive viaducts. A day trip is possible, or you can stay in Greymouth and extend your adventure to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks.

 
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